Saturday, August 16, 2008

Twin Beds - The Airplane Shine Shit Head (Twin Beds CD-R)

Trying to keep the ball rolling today, so for the first time ever you get two reviews! Huzzah! This is another one that was given to me, this time from Nathaniel Brennan and his cohorts in Twin Beds. Nathaniel hails from (I'm pretty sure...) North Adams, a small town in western Massachusetts. His first cassette featured him on a whole plethora of instruments, from geetar to sampler, mic, anything. This one is a broadened line-up (apparently that used for live shows), and though I don't know the names of any of the other guys on this, they all seem to fit fairly seamlessly into Brennan's vision.

The first track, clocking in at nearly twenty minutes, is a brute of an excursion, a maddening meandering mind-fuck the likes of which only a Sunburned or similarly inclined big band is capable of. I can't really tell what's being played here except for the rock steady drumming. Other than that it's all just fuzzed out mayhem, a whole static mess of melodies emerging from what could be church organ, glockenspiel, and marimba or simply processed guitar, vocals and sampler. Who knows... either way, the whole thing is totally together and whacked to hell--true weirdness the likes of which only a singular jam such as this can produce. Especially notable is the incredible noise-scape going on just beneath the high interval melodic work. It's a pretty scuzzed workout, but the volume is just right to render only a wall on which to play atop. If Sun Ra had discovered Throbbing Gristle, this might've been their collaboration.

The second track is even more amorphous and meandering. This time the sounds are more distinct but the gap left by the wall of noise's absence makes it even harder to pin-down. It' like the sound of curdling milk or something, loose as shit and stoned to hell. Weird wah'd loops and sprawling guitar ass-kicking played so far away that you can hardly tell whether or not it's just carry over from the next apartment over. More No-Necky in flavor, if only due to the awesomely odd recording tactics.

The third and final track is thirteen minutes of what is apparently this group's signature sound--total free form madness with so much texture that it's touch not to get caught up in it all. Weird vocalizings, more guitar drenching from beyond, and the pitter patter of a drummer with ADD so bad he can't be bothered to keep a beat (just si tshould be, I say!) The vocals are a constant here, just mumbling onward about whatever with such poor annunciation that it becomes pure sonic happenstance. When a grating electronic tone makes its presence known, crackling with the sound of an amp on its last legs, the weirdness actually subsides, moving the work into a (relatively) more stripped down and barren realm of oh fuckery. Wildly wonderful, the album is like a map to that special place that only improvised (and drugged) music making can acquire. Contact Nathaniel at if you want one, or check out Tomentosa.

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